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NPA at the party political conferences

Once again, the NPA will be flying the flag for independent community pharmacy at the three UK-wide political parties’ annual conferences.

The aim is to remind activists, MPs and the wider policy- influencing community that pharmacy offers   solutions   to many of the big challenges facing the health service.   It is also    an opportunity to identify potential allies, nurture existing relationships and ensure we are in touch with the latest developments in the political sphere ahead of the return of Parliament.

We are partnering with well-known institutions in UK party politics to amplify our voice in a series of conference events: The Centre for Policy Studies (Conservative conference), the Fabian Society (Labour) and Lib Dems in Business.

All the events are timely for informing discussions on the development of the NHS  10  Year  Plan. Indeed,  this  will  be the specific topic at the Conservative event (October 1st, Birmingham), to be moderated by Telegraph health editor, Laura Donnelly. NPA board member Nick Kaye will be on  a panel that also includes NHS Confederation  chief  executive Niall Dickson and MPs.

The NPA welcomed the announcement earlier this year of a long term plan for the NHS, and the associated five year boost to funding, which is long overdue. It is an opportunity to innovate but also to unlock the potential of existing infrastructure and workforce. Any truly ambitious plan should therefore include community pharmacy, which has the potential to transform primary care, reduce medicines waste and massively improve access to NHS services.

In the box opposite is a reminder of what the NPA  has said are the rights tests for the success or otherwise of the 10 year plan. If you agree that these are the right measures of success, or if you do not, please tell us at independentsvoice@npa.co.uk - we can then pass your thoughts on to conference delegates!

At the Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton (17 September), the panel will consider the role that business can play in a healthcare system that is centred on people and anchored in communities. Participants will include Baroness Jolly, Liberal Democrat spokeswoman for health, and Lord Fox, Liberal Democrat Lords spokesman for business, enterprise and industrial strategy. NPA  board  member  Reena  Barai  will  speak  about  the role of community pharmacy both  as  an  employer  and  as  a provider of health services to employers.

A week later, on  September  24,  the  NPA’s  Nick  Kaye  will  be  at the Labour Party conference in  Liverpool  for  a  Fabian  Society fringe event entitled Community Health: is there a future  for localism in public health? The  panel  will  include  Ben  Bradshaw MP, health and social care select committee member and Julie Cooper MP, shadow health  minister. They  will  debate  the  future of community health and explore questions of decentralisation, leadership and  integration,  and  options  to  ensure  the  wellbeing of patients and communities.

All three of the events will be available to view live on the NPA website.

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